I’m not from around here. Though you might have noticed my mixed-race byline at the INDY often during the last year, I’m actually a steadfast New York City native with no plans to move out of Queens anytime soon.

But don’t take me for a damn rube, Raleigh.

This isn’t my first time at the Hopscotch rodeo, and I didn’t just drive this 2013 Scion tC down I-95 for nine straight hours hopped up on bennies to get rolled by some hustling opportunist at Moore Square. After incurring the wrath of Hopscotch spirit animal Thurston Moore by previously poking him one too many times in his cage at Kings, I came prepared this year. So if you decide to follow my below itinerary on your nighttime journey to the heart of the American dream, keep your goddamn distance.



After shaking my skinny fists like antennas to heaven for GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR’s headlining set at City Plaza, I’m ambling over to Kennedy Theatre for some righteous weirdness from lute-n-drum duo XYLOURIS WHITE. Because if you’re at Hopscotch and you don’t see at least one truly strange musical act, why even be here? Then it’s a brisk walk to The Pour House for a few pints of craft beer and doom metal by SOLAR HALOS and FÓRN, though I’ll likely duck out in the middle of the latter’s set for a little JENNY HVAL at Kings, provided it isn’t at capacity. At that point in the night, it’s a toss up between CASHMERE CAT’s Nordic dance at CAM and BATTLES’ polyrhythmic math rock at Lincoln Theatre, depending on what else I’m on.


Today calls for a big breakfast, so hopefully there’s a Bojangles’ somewhere near wherever the hell I parked my car. Day parties are nice, but so is holing up in someone else’s Airbnb and misusing their bathroom. Once night falls, I aim not to see anything resembling rock music until after sunrise. So to hell with TV on the Radio. My best bet would be HECTA at Neptunes. From there, I’ll brace for the hip-hop heart attack hustle, popping between Kings and Lincoln repeatedly to catch ACE HENDERSON, CHAZ FRENCH, NOCANDO, FATHER, LE1F and PUSHA T, in that order. If I don’t somehow end up keeled over somewhere on Fayetteville Street dry heaving, I’ll consider the night a tremendous success.


The third day of any three-day festival feels like a slog. The body weakened by lack of sleep, questionable late-night dining choices, and Lord-knows-what-else, it’ll be somewhat comforting to find a spot at City Plaza to passively enjoy the evening’s sets by legacy act X and country legend DWIGHT YOAKAM. Hopefully by the time that ends, the Emergen-C and Red Bull cure-all will have taken effect, and I can finish Hopscotch in a most reckless fashion. Slim’s has wrangled a pretty rad lineup with punks galore, including WYMYNS PRYSN and the irrepressible HANK WOOD & THE HAMMERHEADS. Given how incredibly close The Hive is, catching even part of the ZS set there seems a certainty, as does ZACK MEXICO over at The Pour House. While I’m sure GODFLESH will put on one heck of a show, I’ll wait to see them back home in New York next week.

Now, where the hell is the afterparty?